The latest Garmin smartwatch has been released, but do you really need to have the newest one? If you're thinking of getting a smartwatch for more than just monitoring daily step count and heart rate, then here's what you need to know about the Garmin 5 GPS watch, before splashing the cash. Chances are, you'll save yourself a few £££ and still get everything you need for all your activities.
It’s an adventurer's piece of wearable tech. Like a swiss army knife for those who are always seeking to physically push to new limits and test new boundaries. If indoor training or all weather activities is your thing, this is truly a piece of kit you need to add to your gift list, it is made for the athletic enthusiast. The Garmin Fenix is designed specifically to endure, track, and analyse your efforts.
Garmin says, it has been created to examine how your body responds to intense activity and you can use the data to make adjustments in your daily lives, whether it involves altering sleep patterns, monitoring activity levels or to help improve cognitive and physical performance in any sport or challenges. The watch has dedicated features that track and analyse things like heart rate, stress and sleep patterns throughout your day and during intense workouts. You can then use the data to provide long-term trend analysis and manage all key aspects of your exercise program. You can also use it to focus and set goals you’d like to achieve or improve on.
I use my Garmin mainly for tracking my weekly exercise, which may involve cross-training, boot camp, swimming, running and most of all cycling. It really comes into its own when preparing for those big sportive days and race challenges. In order to keep to a training schedule I would monitor sleep patterns, distance, elevation, relative effort, heart rate and the feature I probably enjoy the most these days is trying to improve my VO2 Max level during exercise.
I love that it has built-in features like ‘abnormal heart rate alert’ to help keep you within your training zones and not push too hard which is also useful to have. In addition, the watch can be used in conjunction with other Garmin devices and most ANT or bluetooth enabled devices like my Elite Digital, smart trainer whenever I want to jump on to Zwift during those cold winter nights.
I also sync it to my cadence & speed sensor and my Garmin navigation device on my bike. You can even broadcast your activity data to others in realtime, which you need to enable. I have only scratched the surface of some of the features, it also has an altimeter, in case you were ever out in the wilderness and needed to find your way to civilisation and you can do novel things like personalise the watch face with plenty of digital and analogue display options.
Truthfully speaking the watch design probably isn’t as good and bright as some of the newcomers on the market like the Apple Watch or Samsung Gear, but the understated and robust design really appeals to me. You also have access to Gamin Connect IQ Store where you can find 3rd party apps to add even more features to your watch and use Garmin Connect for more in-depth planning.
This isn’t a gimmicky watch, either, it’s built to military grade and offers up to 36 hours of battery life while in GPS mode and 14 days while in smartwatch mode. Of course you can also be notified of new emails, texts, control music, and receive alerts when paired to your phone. For me, the Garmin 5 GPS gets my seal of approval and it's a joy to use today, just as it was the first day I started using it.
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